In simple terms environmental law refers to how human activities impact on the immediate environment around them. The law can cover everything from mining to conservation areas. If you run a business, are looking to get planning permission or want to protect a local conservation area it helps to know more about environmental law.

The purpose

In broad terms the purpose of establishing environmental laws is to-

• Penalise people for illegally harming the environment
• Assess projects such as land development to ensure they do not damage the environment
• Set policies to ensure that people are aware of how to look after their local natural environment
• The creation of regulatory agencies, courts and tribunals to make sure these laws are enforced


You may think that this only applies to people building roads or parks, having to keep in mind the environment. However, this can also apply to building extensions on your house, how you dispose of household waste and other potential issues that could break these rules and in some cases could result in needless neighbourly disputes that could be avoided.

With businesses it is important to discuss this with a relevant authority as early as possible. This means you can avoid potential problems. There are often clichés such as a development being delayed because of a rare newt living on the proposed site. However, this is relevant – both companies and individuals have to be aware of this and it is better to check regulations and issues before any kind of work that could potentially negatively impact the local area (and by extension negatively impact on the perception of you or the company that you represent).

Indeed, if anything the opposite is true – if you include people in the process early on and discuss your plans with them then they are more likely to be inclined to support your project as it shows you are listening and engaging with the concerns of the local community.

Specialist advice

It pays to get to know the local area. What can be a large concern in one area might not be so important in another. This is why it helps to get specialist legal advice from professionals who are trained in this particular field, able to look at the situation and advise you on what potential problems could occur and how to approach them.

At Larcomes we believe in the ethos of being “big enough to specialise, small enough to care.” There is often a perception of law professionals being cold and unemotional but this is often not the case. We want our clients to be happy but equally we want to be sure that a positive result can occur all round.

If you are concerned about something that could potentially be at odds with an environmental law or want to know more before working on a project, please contact us today and we will be happy to discuss this with you in more detail.